There are a number of vital steps that must be taken between exchange of Contracts and completion and these include:
You will need to arrange your Buildings Insurance to commence on your new property from exchange. If you are selling also you will need to also retain your insurance on your current property until completion.
Requisitions on Title
This is a questionnaire which the Buyer will require the Seller to complete. The questions require the Seller to confirm that there has been no change to the information given by him/her before exchange of Contracts, asks for confirmation that vacant possession will be given and the arrangements for handing over keys on completion, and requires the Seller to give an undertaking to discharge mortgages secured on the property.
Land Registry Search
The Office Copy Entries given by the Sellers to the Buyer at the beginning of the transaction will contain an “edition date”. They are a conclusive statement of the ownership of the land and any rights or restrictions that affect the property as at that date - but what about possible changes since then? The right of occupation registered by an unhappy spouse or a further mortgage? A “Form OS1” search will reveal if any more recent applications have been made to the Land Registry and vitally will also give a “priority period” so that provided the Buyer’s application to register their own Title is made within the next 30 working days, it will have priority over any subsequent application.
If the Buyer is purchasing with the benefit of a mortgage, the Lender will require that a Bankruptcy Search is carried out shortly before completion to check that the Buyer has not become bankrupt since the mortgage application was made.
The period between exchange and completion is the time when the fiddly business of apportioning responsibility between the Seller and Buyer for ground rent and service charge liabilities. The Seller may be entitled to be paid for any sums paid by him in advance and which cover a period after completion takes place.
The Seller’s Solicitor will provide a financial summary sorting out the full sum due to be paid by the Buyer on completion making allowances of course for any deposits paid, liability for apportionments on leasehold property etc.